Freshman Kayla Trice of the Oglethorpe women's track and field team earned SAA Women's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year honors on Thursday. The award was voted on by the league's coaches, and it marks the second consecutive season, as well as the third time in the last four seasons, that a member of the Stormy Petrels has won the women's track and field newcomer award.
Trice was an All-SAA performer in two sports during the 2016-17 academic year, earning all-conference honorable mention during the soccer season before taking All-SAA First Team accolades at the SAA Track and Field Championships in late April. She won the SAA title in the 100 meters at the meet, as well as taking second place in both the 200 meters and the long jump. She also led the Petrel women's relay teams to a pair of fourth-place finishes. Those performances earned her a spot on the All-SAA First Team. She earned SAA Women's Track Athlete of the Week accolades twice during the season, breaking a school record in the 100 at the Emory Classic on March 29 and breaking that record again while finishing second in both the 100 and 200 at the Hilltop Classic on April 5.
"We are very proud of Kayla's performance this year!" said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "She continued to up her level of performance as the season continued, and was a big part of the reason why we finished sixth at the SAA Championships. We greatly look forward to seeing what Kayla can accomplish in the future!"
Trice joined current sophomore Arielle Shaw (2016) and Oglethorpe alumna Dierdre Duncan (2014) in the group of Petrels to have won the conference women's track newcomer award in the past four seasons.
Trice served as one of seven athletes to earn All-SAA honors at the conference meet. In addition to Trice's All-SAA First Team nod, Shaw earned All-SAA Second Team honors after finishing second in the triple jump and third in the long jump, while sophomore Nicolette Andrey earned All-SAA Honorable Mention with a third-place finish in the 400 meters. On the men's side, freshman Omari Miller won All-SAA Second Team accolades with a runner-up finish in the 800 meters. Seniors Jamal and Malik Willis, and sophomore Rodrigo Meade, joined Miller on the second team, as the group finished second in the 4-x-400 relay.
A group of Stormy Petrels will continue attempting to qualify for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, when they travel up the road to Athens for the Torrin Lawrence Memorial. After that, they'll head to Napierville, Illinois, for another last-chance meet May 11 through 12. The national meet is set to take place May 25 through 27 in Geneva, Ohio.